Experience fascinating aspects of city and country life in two countries, including a visit to a whisky distillery in Scotland and heartwarming evening with a seancaithe (Irish Storyteller) in Ireland. Day 1: ARRIVE EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND
Upon arrival in Edinburgh you are met and transferred to your hotel. Meet your fellow guests for a welcome dinner.
The Scotsman Hotel | Meals: D
Day 2: EDINBURGH / Castle and Crown Jewels
Tour Edinburgh Castle to view the Honors of Scotland, (the Scottish Crown Jewels). Drive the Royal Mile, past St. Gile High Kirk, to Holyrood Palace, Queen Elizabeth,™s official residence in Scotland (provided the Royal family is not visiting). Enjoy a lunch of Scottish specialties, including haggis.
The Scotsman Hotel | Meals: B L
Day 3: ST. ANDREWS / Castle and Cathedral Ruins
Travel to St. Andrews, birthplace of golf and home of Scotland,™s oldest university, to explore its quaint streets. Visit the ruins of the castle and cathedral named for St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. Make a Musical Connection with a rousing evening of Scottish dancing and bagpiping.
Atholl Palace | Meals: B D
Day 4: PITLOCHRY & BLAIR ATHOL / Highlands and Heroes
Discover the hidden treasures of the Grampians, as you tour white-turreted Blair Castle, home of the Duke of Athol, and learn the history of the major Highland clans. You may even see members of the Athol Highlanders, the Duke,™s private army, making their rounds. Visit a malt whisky distillery for an Artisan Connection, see its craftsmen at work and taste a sample. Return to delightful Pitlochry for time at leisure.
Atholl Palace | Meals: B
Day 5: LUSS & GLASGOW / Monarch of the Glen
Journey through the scenic Highland countryside, passing Loch Laggan and Ardverikie House, setting for the BBC,™s, Monarch of the Glen. Continue into the Great Glen to Trossachs National Park, and pass Loch Fyne to the beautifully conserved village of Luss. Arrive at your Glasgow hotel.
Hotel du Vin | Meals: B L
Day 6: DUBLIN, IRELAND / An Evening of Irish Lore
Fly to Dublin, Ireland, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. Then, spend a heartwarming evening with an authentic seancaithe (Irish storyteller). Ireland is famed for the art of storytelling and tales passed down through generations. Immerse yourself in this unique aspect of Irish heritage for an intimate, interactive experience.
The Merrion | Meals: B D
Day 7: DUBLIN / The Book of Kells
Explore Dublin, Ireland,™s capital city. Visit the impressive Trinity College, Ireland,™s oldest university, where you enjoy a private visit to its library guided by a librarian. See the Book of Kells, a fabulous example of early Irish illuminated manuscript that is on display in the Old Library. Visit St. Patrick,™s Cathedral, the largest church in Ireland.
The Merrion | Meals: B
Day 8: KILKENNY & KILLARNEY / A Touch of the Blarney
Travel west to Kilkenny and visit the picturesque and haunting Rock of Cashel. Later behold the Blarney Stone, which is built into the steep battlements of Blarney Castle, and said to bestow the gift of the gab, upon all who kiss it. Later, check into your beautiful Victorian hotel in Killarney.
The Malton | Meals: B L D
Day 9: RING OF KERRY / Sheep Dogs at Work
Drive the scenic Ring of Kerry, past gorgeous mountains and moorlands. See Derrynane House, home of Daniel O,™Connell, the Great Liberator of Ireland. Journey into Killarney National Park to Muckross House, a historic vine-covered stone manor in the shadows of Macgillycuddy,™s Reeks, Ireland,™s highest peaks. Explore the lovely gardens and traditional farms here, and then visit Kissane Sheep Farm to witness an amazing sheepdog demonstration, as keenly trained canines gather their flocks from mountainous terrain into the sheep yard.
The Malton | Meals: B
Day 10: DINGLE & DROMOLAND / The Gaelic Heritage
Follow the South shore of the Dingle Peninsula to Dingle Town, a long-established fishing community, and then take the Slea Head Drive, a road that hugs the cliff tops. Venture to the westernmost tip of mainland Ireland for breathtaking views of the Blasket Islands and visit the heritage center here. Continue to your richly appointed accommodations in an actual Irish castle.
Dromoland Castle Estate | Meals: B L
Day 11: CLIFFS OF MOHER / Across Weathered Landscapes
Journey to the towering Cliffs of Moher, tallest in Ireland. Scan this rugged landscape that regularly endures the fiercest of Atlantic storms to spot the large colonies of birds precariously living there, including Atlantic puffins. Traverse the Burren, a lunar-like karst landscape. Tonight, join your fellow travellers for a delightful farewell dinner.
Dromoland Castle Estate | Meals: B D
Day 12: DEPART SHANNON
Transfer to the airport in Shannon and depart.
4 days, priced from $2,295; internal air priced from $210
DAY 1: Arrive in London, England, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. The Royal Horseguards Hotel
DAY 2: Embark on a guided tour of London,™s best-known sights, followed a class in the etiquette of Afternoon Tea and a baking demonstration. The Royal Horseguards Hotel / Meals: B
DAY 3: Drive along the Thames to tour Windsor Castle, view Eton College from the castle ramparts and stroll the charming town. The Royal Horseguards Hotel / Meals: B
DAY 4: After breakfast, transfer to London Heathrow for your flight to Edinburgh. Meals: B
Available on all departures.